Friday, September 21, 2012

Setting up a Blogger Account

This blog is being made into an iBook for download in the iTunes Store.

The first thing you need to do is get yourself a Google Gmail Account. This is a really handy on line email account that you can access anywhere in the world from any computer in the world. It has a ton of storage space and you can use it to chat to others who also have gmail accounts.

Some people like to have a separate Gmail addresses or use their School email account to separate your private log in from your school one. There are reasons for and against both ways of setting up a blog log in.

The big thing to remember with this one is you HAVE TO WRITE DOWN YOUR USERNAME AND PASSWORD as you go because you may have to change it and you don't want to forget what you have decided on.

One you have a Google log in go to

Then go to Blogger and make yourself a blog. It is quite straight forward but again write down your username and password.

Here is a download printout that are much more detailed that hopefully will spell it out more clearly if you are stuck...

It may be useful to print it off and have it sitting next to you as you begin.

Click the orange download button to download the instructions to your desktop.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Adding a new blog post with a photo

This blog is being set up as an iBook for free download from the iTunes Store.

Here are the instructions to get you started with your blog. 

To add a new blog post. Go to your overview page and click on the pencil in the top left corner.

Write the title, click on the little photo icon, navigate to your photos to upload some and write some words in the big text box.

When you're done click PUBLISH.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Adding a hyperlink from text or a photo

To add a hyperlink from some text.

1. Go to the web page you want to link to and copy the URL web address.

2. Open up the blog post and type the text that you want to hyperlink.

3. Highlight that text.

4. Click on Link in the Menu Bar and copy in the link from the other web site.


Publish publish the page and now the words become a hyperlink to a new website.

☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀

You can also add a hyperlink to photos.

1. Upload the photo. Here is how you do that.

2. Copy the URL web address of where you want the hyperlink to go to.

3. Highlight the photo and click on LINK in the Menu Bar.

4. Add the link that you have copied that you want the photo to link to.


When you publish the post and click on the link it will take you to the new web page.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fine tuning your blog

Go to your OVERVIEW and look for the SETTINGS

1. Then change the 'Who can comment?' to ANYONE.

2. Add Comment Moderation to Always - so the comments come to you for approval.

3. Add in the email that you want to moderated comments to go to. For a school I think it is wise for comment moderation to be turned on- moderation means that all comments get sent to the email address that you nominate and you get to decide whether you want to publish or delete the comment.

4. Turn Word Verification to OFF so that you don't have to type in the confusing verification letters. Put it back on if you find yourself getting spam comments.

5. You may also like to write a statement in the Comment Form Message to let your readers know what to expect when they leave a comment.

SAVE the settings.

Now go to the LANGUAGE AND FORMATTING and change the time zone to AUCKLAND.

And again save the settings.

And you're done apart from any other tinkerings that you might fancy.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Changing the Template and Layout

To change your overview page. Go to your Template.

Go CUSTOMISE and have a play around. It gives you a little preview. When you are happy click APPLY TO YOUR BLOG.

You can also adjust the BACKGROUND,  WIDTHS, LAYOUT and under ADVANCED you can make your blog really ugly by playing around with the colours.

When you're happy apply it. You can always come back and change it.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Adding a Static Page

You can add a static page to your blog with things like the week's homework or things that you want easy access to.

You can also make it a like to a website or extra links for learners.

It will stay in one place always be easily accessible.

To add a page go to your Settings and then layout- add a gadget.

Look for the page gadget and add it by clicking on the add sign.

Decide what you want of the page and where it goes.

Now go back to your overview page and select Pages to make a new page.

Here is how it might look.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Posting to Your Blog with Email

Once you have set up your blog it is nice and easy to make a post just by sending an email. This feature wold be great if you have students overseas who want to share their travels on the blog- all the would need to be able to do is to send an email.

Also useful if you want people to be able to make posts but you don't want to the give them the password or let them change the sidebar or other setting.

To enable blogging via email go to SETTINGS, then look for MOBILE AND EMAIL.
Enter a secret word that you can remember. As an example the email address would be

Click on the 'Publish Email Immediately' if you want to or you can make it go to draft but if it did that you might not notice it was there. 

If you send it straight to publish make sure you get an email letting you know it's there so you can check it.

To make your post simply send an email to the blog.

And very cleverly instead of just emailing text and photos you can email a short video as an attachment and that works as well.

Here is a video from Barbara Reid showing you how to do it.

Add recent comments to your side bar

Go to the LAYOUT of your blog. Click ADD A GADGET.

Now scroll down until you get to Feed. Click the plus to add it.

Where it says Feed copy this text into it.

But where it says YOURBLOG type in the individual address of your blog. For example I would type

You can then decide how many comments you want to be shown, whether you wnt to time stamp them or whatever.

Save the widget and you can drag it down the sidebar if you don't want to have it at the top.

I acknowledge the assistance of for this tip.

Adding Gadgets on Your Side Bar

Adding gadgets to the side bar of your blog really adds functionality and interest to your blog.

To add a gadget go to the OVERVIEW. Then go to the LAYOUT.

Click on ADD A GADGET.

Scroll down the list and click the plus for the gadget you want.

You can repeat the process and get lots of gadgets.

Here is a list of gadgets that I have found useful.

  • Pages- add static page to your blog- one that doesn't scroll away over time.
  • Search box- search your blog 
  • Html- very useful for adding things like YouTube videos and services from other web sites.
  • Text- it's good to write a little about your class so visitors know what year level you teach, who you are and why you are blogging.
  • Picture- a good place to put a class photo
  • Slideshow- add a slideshow of photos from the blog.
  • Poll- ask your readers to vote on topics of interest.
  • Link List- this is how I add links to Reading, Maths etc website to add usefulness and functionality to your blog.
  • Labels- group your blog posts into categories or add children's names so they can easily find their blog posts.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Adding a Animoto Slideshow

Animoto Slideshows  add a variety of cool transitions and music very simply to your blog.

To make a slideshow you first have to do register.

First off all select your theme.

For the free version you can upload no more than 15 photos as the slideshow lasts 30 seconds. I suggest you put your photos into one folder and go CLICK + SHIFT on the first photo in the list and then click on the last photo and all of them will be selected.

You can fiddle with the music and photo order but for a quick production just click preview and produce your movie.

That will whirr away for a bit as Animoto renders the video.

When the rendering is done you will get an email telling you or you can just grab the embedding code and put it straight on your blog. Look for the SHARE tab.

Highlight and copy the code.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Now go to your blog post. Click on the HTML tab and paste the code where you want it to be. Click back on the COMPOSE tab to see how it will look. Publish when you're happy.

I often put the html embed code at the bottom of my writing in a blog post so I know that I don't break the previous code.

Make a video of your own at Animoto.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Editing HTML

I don't know a lot about HTML but it's the code that underwrites what goes on the internet.

What I quite often do is make the Blogger video larger so that it is easier to see without having to go full screen. To do that I upload the video and then click on the html tab of the new post. You will see some html code as below. I then change the height and width to suit.

I sometimes do the same with YouTube videos
If I am gathering an embed code for a web site that I don't want children to be able to click on I can sometimes remove the words that would link to the site by taking out the Title so that the > and < touch.

Sometimes you may want to share a link in your comments. I use Blog Assist to do it for me but you can do it for yourself but putting a bit of html code around the URL address like this adding the black bits around the web address and the text.

I can't put the actual html code here so you can copy it because it actually tries to link it so you will have to copy off the picture below.

The word Nets in the example above will be all that the the people you left comments for will see but it will be hyperlinked to the URL you want to share.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Adding and Deleting Labels to Blog Posts

Adding a label to the side bar of your blog lets you group your blog posts into categories or names of children who have written or featured in a blog post.

To add a label go to the OVERVIEW. Then go to the LAYOUT.

Click on ADD A GADGET.

Scroll down the list and click the plus for Label.

Decide how you want your labels to look.

Then save your gadget. You can move where your gadgets are placed by dragging the rectangle where you want it to be and then save your arrangement.

To add a label you write your post and add the label that you want your viewers to see. like this...

Your labels will then look something like this...

At the end of the year you may want to get rid of all the labels that were children's names ready for the next class.

To do that open your post list on the dashboard.

Click in the upper right menu to display all the posts with the same label.

Now select all of those posts by clicking the box at the top of the list. This selects all of the blog posts.

Next to the check box is a Drop Down Label Menu.

Open it and click on the label you wish to remove.

This will remove the label from all of the blog posts it was used with, thus deleting it from the label list!